Australian Mobile Broadband
Can you get a decent amount of downloads, with decent coverage, without taking out a second mortgage?
That’s the golden question for anyone traveling in Australia. We don’t necessarily have plans to go location independent right now, but I was listening to an RV podcast last week and one question it seems all guests are asked is about what internet they use.
The podcast is US-based, so I do know wifi is more prolific over there. But it got me thinking, what do we use at home? How much would that cost if we were to use that all as mobile broadband?
Firstly, I logged into my provider’s data app and had a look at what we use: currently only about 40gig of our 200gig per month of home broadband. That’s not too bad. We’re not much for video, we don’t have Netflix or any other streaming devices…we’re probably fairly conservative data users!
I did a little bit of Googling and came across a few articles recommending Amaysim for general data and mobile coverage. Apparently they test high for customer service too, always a good thing!
Cool. I knew nothing about them, so I went to check them out. Take a look at the screenshots below and then we’ll talk…
This seems to be an issue anywhere in Australia, but by being so easy to compare, it’s easier to analyse Amaysim’s offers. And where I get annoyed confused is when it come to the cost of data only, as opposed to a sim for use for calls, texts and data.
It costs $99.90 for 10gig of data when that’s all you want to use the sim for. (Granted, this does have a 365 day expiry. But given that I’m looking to replace 40gig/month of home data, I’m considering the $99.90 an absolute minimum monthly cost.)
It only costs $49.90/month for calls, texts (including some international) AND 9 gig of data.
Why!? Why does it cost HALF to get more? Why do I need to pay for calls AND data when all I want is data?
My first thought was that maybe people are likely over-spend on calls and so the company makes more money. But this is all pre-paid. I’ve been on contracts for a few years now but my understanding from the last time I was pre-paid is that when you’ve used up your allowance, it stops working. I guess maybe it forces you to purchase again, and sooner? Does the data roll over?
I flicked over to another provider; this time, Optus:
Unsurprisingly (sadly), my current (contract) home and mobile provider Telstra seemed to offer the worst deal. And it’s harder to even find the pre-paid option on their website!
Optus: 10 gig for $35 or 25 gig for $90
Amaysim: 7 gig for $39.90 (both data and calls)
Virgin Mobile: 10 gig for $99
Vodafone: 10 gig for $99
Telstra: 1 gig for $10 through to $140 for 16 gig.
It’s a minefield! To get value for our current usage of 40 gig per month, the minimum I think we could pay would be via Optus, using two $90/25 gig deals per month.
(FYI: Amaysim details accessed 15th April 2016, all other providers details accessed 26th April 2016. Please check providers websites for current details.)
Do you use mobile data in Australia? Which provider do you use? How have you found their price, 4G coverage and customer service?